The speaker of the Russian parliament's upper house, Yegor Stroyev, was re-elected governor of the Oryol Region (Central Russia) on Sunday. According to preliminary figures, Stroyev received over 91 percent of votes. In all, 70 percent of registered voters came to the polling stations, the Oryol Region election committee has said. Stroyev, 64, has been elected the region's governor for the third time. Other candidates in the election included director of a brick factory Stanislav Mats, teacher of a local university Vladimir Zyabkin, and head of the regional statistics committee Vassily Molokanov. They were nominated by voters and did not represent any political parties. The Oryol Region is situated in the south-west of Russia's European part. It is part of the Central Economic Region and the Central Federal District. The region has an area of 24,700 square kilometres and a population of 899,000 (according to 2000 figures). The region's administrative centre is the town of Oryol, one of Russia's oldest. It was founded by Tsar Ivan the Terrible in 1566 as a fortress. The Oryol Region is a centre of modern agrarian science and a major industrial centre.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign